It’s that time of year again, when dear old Dad gets a little love, and maybe even a new barbecue set if he’s played his cards right. In honor of the day, and with a special curtsy for new dad Prince Harry (who’s already, along with Mrs. Sussex, done a great job with the naming of their offspring–LOVE “Archie Harrison”), I thought we’d chat over some of the best Dads in British TV series.
Mick Shipman (Gavin’s dad, played by Larry Lamb), Gavin & Stacey
I love all parts of Gavin & Stacey, but I must admit that Gavin’s parents, the Essex half of the equation, were two of my favorite characters. (Full props to Alison Steadman, doing a wonderful job as the Princess-Diana-disdaining, Camilla-loving Pam Shipman.) Mick was often the voice of exasperated common sense when the Wales connection (Stacey’s family) started going a bit off the rails, but he was always kind about it. Here he is in best trying-to-get-the-show-on-the-road Dad Form:
DCI Tom Barnaby (Cully Barnaby’s dad, played by John Nettles), Midsomer Murders
Admittedly, the family relationship between DCI Tom Barnaby, his wife Joyce, and their daughter Cully is not really central to the plot of these cozy, village-set murder mysteries. All the same, Barnaby is clearly a supportive dad, and always makes sure to find out the skinny on whoever Cully is dating. Crime dramas are not known for showcasing a lot of close family relationships, which makes Barnaby’s happy home life (his wife’s cooking notwithstanding) a nice change of pace.
Tim Elliot (Marcus Elliot’s dad, played by Darren Boyd), Spy
Tim Elliot will do anything to stop looking like a buffoon in his precocious son’s eyes, even if it means showing up to take what he thinks is a civil service test, but what really turns out to be an aptitude test to join MI-5. (Bonus points to Spy for also starring Robert Lindsay, perhaps best known as the dad character from the popular British sitcom My Family.)
Liam Moone (Martin Moone’s dad, played by Peter McDonald), Moone Boy
I love all the Moone kids, but I’ll admit, now that I’m old, I mainly have a soft spot for the long-suffering Moone parents, who mostly have no idea what their children are getting into, but who try very hard to be good parents anyway. Even if they have to use a hammer to do it:
Honorable Mention: Father Ted (played by Dermot Morgan), Father Ted
Okay, he’s not a dad, but you have to call him Father, and I’ll do anything to share a Father Ted clip:
Happy Father’s Day!